New Zealand food prices fell in August, the first drop in five months, with cheaper meat, poultry and fish, and grocery items leading the way.

The food price index fell 0.5 per cent in August, turning around a 0.5 per cent gain in July, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Food prices are up 0.3 per cent from August 2012, a slower annual pace than the 0.9 per cent in July. More expensive vegetables have underpinned the annual lift.

The monthly decline was led by a 1.7 per cent fall in meat, poultry and fish prices, primarily from cheaper beef and pork. Grocery food prices fell 0.8 per cent, with cheaper bread and cereals, and confectionery, nuts and snacks.


Food prices account for about 19 per cent of the Consumers Price Index, which showed an annual pace of inflation of 0.7 per cent in the June quarter, the slowest pace since 1999.